Pattullo Bridge history

Timeline created by jeffnagel
  • ICBC review of Pattullo safety

    An ICBC safety review of the bridge concludes motorists drive too fast, particularly over the dangerous curved section, and recommends pursuit of various measures, including centre lane closures in off-peak hours, a thin median barrier or a three-lane counterflow system, and fixed cameras targeting speeders.
  • Fatal crash: John Heida

    Surrey resident John Heida dies when another vehicle crosses the bridge centre line and hits his car head-on. Friends launch a campaign for a safer bridge.
  • Head on crash kills two Surrey brothers

    Sarfraz and Imran Khan, two brothers from Surrey, die when their car loses control and crosses the centre line, hitting an oncoming taxi.
  • TransLink pursues median barrier

    TransLink directors vote to draw up preliminary designs for a median barrier.
  • Two die, five injured; barrier promised within year

    Two more people die and five are injured in a head-on crash linked to speed. TransLink chair Doug McCallum vows to have a median barrier in place within a year.
  • TransLink OKs $5m for barrier

    TransLink board gives approval in principle to spend $5 million to build a centre barrier. The project is to be expedited and complete by year end.
  • Barrier must wait, TransLink board told

    TransLink directors are told the median can't be in place before 2006 or even 2007 because bridge upgrades are needed first. A staff report warns putting a barrier on the bridge – which is already much narrower than national standards for new spans – will be difficult and risky. Directors vote to implement a series of temporary safety measures while upgrades and studies proceed.
  • Centre lane closures begin

    Overnight closures of the centre lanes begin from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in a bid to prevent late-night crashes, which had been responsible for nearly all deaths to that point. TransLink also cuts the speed limit to 50 km/h from 60 and installs flexible reflective posts down the centre line to try to keep drivers in their own lanes.
  • Four more die

    Four people from Surrey and Abbotsford die in a crash in the afternoon rush hour.
  • Gateway plan lists Pattullo as untolled alternative

    Province unveils Gateway program to twin Port Mann Bridge by 2013, leaving the Pattullo as free untolled alternative. TransLink officials fear Port Mann tolls will add traffic and danger on the Pattullo, particularly if the province erects signs on Highway 1 advertising the free route.
  • One dies in pile-up; Median barrier still 12-18 months away

    Burnaby woman Janette Ong dies in a multi-car pile-up. TransLink officials say median barrier remains a year to 18 months away because rehabilitation work is needed before a barrier can be added to the deck.
  • Surrey backs speed cameras

    Surrey City Council calls for installation of photo radar cameras on the Pattullo to slow motorists down. The proposal gets initial support from RCMP and transportation minister Kevin Falcon.
  • TransLink votes for speed cameras; S-G says no

    TransLink's board votes in favour of installing automated cameras on the Pattullo. Solicitor General John Les rejects the idea, saying B.C. Liberals won't reintroduce photo radar, which they scrapped to keep an election promise in 2001.
  • Two more crashes, one fatal

    Two crashes on the bridge in four days – one fatal and both linked to speed –  prompt more questions and demands for action, including speed ticket cameras.
  • Premier says policing can stop Pattullo speeders

    Premier Gordon Campbell said he believes policing, not cameras, is the best way to slow down motorists on the Pattullo.
  • Study begins to look at options to build new bridge

    A multi-agency study begins to examine future strategies to replace the Pattullo with a new bridge. Preliminary findings are expected sometime in 2007.
  • Bridge upgrade work okayed

    TransLink's board approves spending more than $20 million to continue upgrade and rehabilitation work on the Knight and Pattullo bridges in 2007.
  • Head-on crash kills woman; Police back speed cams

    A head-on crash on the bridge kills a New Westminster woman and injures a Surrey man. The death brings to 20 the number of fatalities on the bridge or its approaches since 1990. Police officers from both Surrey and New Westminster call for introduction of automated cameras on the bridge, saying they would save lives. New West police say they are unable to stop speeders on their side because of safety concerns. Surrey RCMP ticketed 3,000 drivers in 2006 but high speeds persist.
  • Bridge deck repaving stalled

    TransLink tries again to find a contractor that can remove the asbestos-contaminated asphalt on the bridge deck and repave it. A clear picture of how safe the concrete deck won't emerge until the asphalt comes off.
  • New TransLink board rejects quick fixes for Pattullo

    TransLink's new appointed board rejects options for short-term fixes for the Pattullo, which include reducing it to three lanes with a counterflow system like the Lions Gate Bridge, or else keeping four lanes and installing a centre median. The four-lane option would require banning truck traffic – which the provincial government opposed. A TransLink report predicted a truck-free bridge with four narrower lanes wouldn't mean any loss of capacity because more smaller vehicles would use it.
  • TransLink board decides on new bridge paid by tolls

    Consultants advise against the use of the old Pattullo Bridge along with a new twin, saying it will be cheaper and more reliable for the long term to build an all-new six-lane bridge. A rehabilitated Pattullo would be good for at most 50 years. TransLink's CEO and board chair decide to build a new bridge – financed by tolls – and dismantle the existing one.
  • Leave one lane untolled: Surrey mayor

    Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts says new toll bridges over the Fraser should include one untolled lane to provide a free alternative and avoid congestion from motorists diverting to the Alex Fraser.
  • Fire knocks Pattullo out for two weeks

    A fire in the wooden supports of the Pattullo's Surrey on-ramp knocks the bridge out of service for two weeks.
  • Falcon vows to seek ways to avoid tolling new Pattullo

    Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon vows to look for ways to rebuild the Pattullo without tolling it. Falcon said he was relieved TransLink ended years of "dithering" and made the decision to build a new bridge.
  • Repave proceeds, bridge deck declared safe

    Pattullo repaving and asbestos removal finally proceeds. Bridge deck deemed safe for further use.
  • Bond also says she wants Pattullo kept free

    Transportation Minister Shirley Bond lists the Alex Fraser Bridge as the free alternative when the new tolled Port Mann Bridge opens in 2013. She downplays fears that means the Pattullo will be tolled, adding she, too, wants to keep it free. NDP calls a tolled Pattullo with the Alex Fraser as a free alternative unacceptable.
  • TransLink postpones bridge design meetings

    TransLink public meetings planned on new bridge approach designs are postponed indefinitely.
  • Watts calls for 'fair tolling' across region

    Mayor Watts says "fair tolling" – where bridges are tolled equally not in just one part of the region – should be among the new mechanisms for long-term financing of TransLink.
  • TransLink reviewing quick-fix alternatives

    TransLink says bridge design open houses are on hold because the province wants to re-examine alternatives to building a new bridge, which could avert the need for tolls.
  • TransLink still wants a new bridge after review

    TransLink concludes it still prefers to build a new six-lane bridge.